Tyreke Evans: Can He Deliver in Sactown?
It's the 25th of June 2009. The Sacramento Kings are on the board and need a floor general. Consensus No. 1 point guard Ricky Rubio has slipped out of the top three and is available.
David Stern is at the podium, mid-sentence already:
"...4th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the Sacramento Kings select Tyreke Evans from the University of Memphis."
Wait, rewind! Didn't Sacramento say they wanted a point guard?
That was my reaction after witnessing Evans drafted by the Kings at No. 4. Don't get me wrong, he's a great player, but this is the hyped 'combo-guard' we're talking about, who was criticised for shot selection in his lone freshmen season.He racked up 143 assists in his 37 game college career...and 133 turnovers.
Back to reality.
So far 'Reke has been very impressive in Summer League, scoring the ball at will and showing off his offensive skills. He's been posting up smaller defenders, getting to the line effortlessly and hitting perimeter shots despite his unorthodox form.
In three games he's racked up averages of 24.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 4.7 apg in an efficient 32 minutes per game. However there is one glaring similarity which seems to be a trend from his days in Memphis. With his 4.7 assists per game come 5.33 turnovers per game.
Let's not read too much into these three games, as it is ONLY the Summer League and the scrappy, unorganised style of play can lead high levels of turnovers to be expected. What I'm really on about is Tyreke Evans as a player.
Let me paint a picture for you in the best way you can understand. Kevin Martin is the starting shooting guard and weighs in at 6'7" and 185 pounds. Evans is going to be the starting point guard and he's 6'6" and a solid 225 pounds.
Evans is an offensive minded combo-guard, not a true point guard. Hence with Ricky Rubio was still on the board come draft night I just can't understand why Sacramento would bring in a player who compares more to a Dwyane Wade type shooting guard, than a Jason Kidd or Chris Paul pass-first point guard.
The Sacramento Kings have a talented young roster featuring offensive marksmen Kevin Martin in addition to a potential-filled frontcourt featuring sophomore Jason Thompson and third year man Spencer Hawes. Both players will be capable of averaging over 15 ppg this season and it will be Tyreke's job to get them the ball.
Maybe it will all work out in Sacramento and the front office should be praised for their intelligence. But until the W's pour in on a nightly basis and the Kings are genuinely back in the playoff race, NBA fans worldwide will be wondering:
"Geoff Petrie (Kings GM), why Tyreke?"
But maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge, let's review this after his rookie season. Hopefully he racks up more assists than turnovers...
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